May 13, 2020

Cracks of Time are Perfect Places to Get Things Done by Wendy L. Macdonald



Years ago, a Bible verse helped me realize the value of showing up to work on a project regardless of how small the window of opportunity. When my life was centered around raising three children aged five and under, I felt frustrated I could rarely complete a task in one sitting. Interruptions ruled and were the rule of my parenting days.

Thankfully, I still managed to spend some time reading God’s Word. Although I wasn’t as studious about it as I am now, I regularly grabbed some Scripture, jotted in on a sticky note, and placed it in a strategic spot.

One such verse reminded me—prompted me—to take advantage of cracks of time.

I needed the motivation regarding one of my favorite hobbies. We lived on six acres in the country and our flower and vegetable garden sat in a prominent spot on our property. To neglect it meant our view from the front porch would be depressing evidence I failed to mine many minutes available to me.
   
One morning I came across the perfect verse to hang in our bathroom as a reminder I needed to pay attention to opportunities to work in my garden:

Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. Ecclesiastes 11:4 NIV

Before having children, I often puttered in my garden for hours and hours at a time. It was glorious to spend uninterrupted expanses of a day doing something I loved to do. Although I loved being a parent (most of the time), I missed the freedom to do what I wanted to do when I felt like doing it.

Parenthood taught me to grow up.

It also taught me to be creative about making more opportunities to garden. One thing my husband did to facilitate this was to place a sandbox in a shady spot inside our fenced vegetable patch to keep our children busy while I worked. Plus, he helped me create raised beds for each of our children to grow their own mini-gardens.

Real life is about showing up and getting the job done whether one feels like it or not. This is especially true in the writer’s life. Real writers sit down and write even though a million distractions and excuses beg you to do something different. Of course, there may be dry seasons during grief, illness, or trauma; but for the most part, writers write. I cope with grief and trauma better when I write my way through it in my journal. During illness, well—ugh—not so much.
 
Cracks of time added up over time provide the writer with the opportunity to complete articles, blog posts, and manuscripts. In fact, I began writing this blog post while resisting the urge to spend this crack of time researching one of my pet topics. And I ignored my tummy’s insistence I head to the kitchen for an early breakfast (I’m up early to avoid interruptions.).

Cracks of time are the perfect places to compose words because all those cracks become a Grand Canyon when combined. Ann Lamott called this the Bird by Bird approach. I called it: Car by Car in another blog post about writing.

Cracks of time are perfect places to get things done because if we wait for something bigger, our dreams will fall into the cracks of missed opportunities.

If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Ecclesiastes 11:4 TLB

And speaking of perfect, it’s now the perfect time to go round up some breakfast.

Blessings as you write in the cracks of time God has given you ~ Wendy Mac
   

8 comments:

  1. I haven't discovered that Ecclesiastes verses you shared. Looking and watching does not get things going! So true. And the image of falling through the cracks when we don't fill them says so much about what we do can do with our time! I hope you had a great breakfast feeling filled with accomplishment from your writing time.

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    1. Thank you, dear Lynn. Breakfast always tastes better when I have a few words under my writing belt.
      Blessings as you glean from the cracks of time you're granted.

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  2. I'm often interrupted by wise cracks sneaking into my mind. And I have no excuse for not writing since I'm single. Congratulations to you and all moms for finding time to write in those spaces between interruptions.

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    1. Thank you for making me smile, Bruce. :)
      Blessings as you write in the way that works best for you.

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  3. I loved this post! It resonated with me in so many ways. Although I am not a gardener, I can relate to having to sneak bits of time here and there and finding ways to make it happen. Well said!

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    1. Thank you, dear Tracy. :) I remember how hard it was to embrace the cracks when I missed the canyons. But God. He knows how to motivate us and bless us best.

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  4. You set a high bar, Wendy, but a good example for people like me. I’ve read and appreciated Bird by Bird too. I love you declarative sentence: "Cracks of time are the perfect places to compose words because all those cracks become a Grand Canyon when combined.” I need to plan and protect my mornings more carefully and get my timer going for the Pomodoro system of 25 minutes.

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    1. Thank you, dear Sharon, for mentioning the Pomodoro system. I've opened a link regarding it so I can learn something new-to-me. Then I will need to figure out how to set a timer on my phone or laptop. :)
      Blessings as you write in the way the works best for you, my friend.

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